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Comment: Software Corp uses brain when licensing ... (Score 4, Informative) 105

by Qbertino (#49167349) Attached to: Unreal Engine 4 Is Now Free

Software Corp continues to use brain when licensing its software, remains perpetually popular. What a concept. These guys deserve our respect. I remember buying Unreal Tournament 2003 and Unreal Tournament 2004, one of those rare games that acutally shipped with a Linux binary back in those days.

You guys are Epic! (pun intended)

Comment: This Google focus has always bugged me. (Score 2) 356

by Qbertino (#49162825) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

I use Google regularly, but I never forget that it's a search engine. Nothing less and nothing more. People who rely on their Google rank for business are going to wake up some day to a big disappointment. A whole generation of users mistaking Google for the web, or even the internet is completely annoying.

If Google wants to change their system, it's their business. If Google can't find a site that I'm looking for, even though the searchterms are distinct and the site offers exactly what I want, it's Google fault, not the fault of the site builder.

We need to educate the ordinary people that Google is one of many search engines. The best perhaps and pretty good most of the time, but only a search engine. That internet traffic goes down by 60% whenever Google is offline simply because people don't get that is scary.

Comment: Straight from Captain Obvious Health News (Score 1) 204

by Qbertino (#49159307) Attached to: Research Suggests That Saunas Help You Live Longer

Just in: Training your circular system regularly with strong temperature fluctuations help you live longer vis-a-vis just sitting on your fat ass all day long and doing nothing. Film at 11. ... Seriously, this was news in the 70ies when the Sauna boom started but it's common sense today.

Sidenote: I've picked up the habit of showering cold after each shower half a year ago. Does wonders to my wellbeing and my imune system. My colds and allergy issues are way down and my overall well-being has notably improved.

+ - Which classic OOP compiled language: Objective-C or C++?

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "I've been trying to pick up a classic OOP oriented compiled language since the early 90ies and have never gotten around to it. C++ always was on my radar but I'm a little torn to-and-fro with Objective-C. Objective-C is the obvious choice if you also want to make money deving for Mac OS X, but for the stuff I want to do both languages would suffice on all platforms. I do want to start out on x86 Linux though and also use it as my main development platform. Note: The fight is only between these two. Yes, I know quite a few other PLs, but I want to get into a widespread compiled language that has good ties into FOSS and both Objective-C and C++ fit that bill.
I'm leaning towards C++ but what do you recommend? How do these two PLs compare to each other and how easy is cross-plattform development in either? (GUI free, 'headless' applications). Thanks for your opinion."

Comment: Is XFCE going the bloat-path? What happened to E? (Score 3, Interesting) 88

by Qbertino (#49158569) Attached to: Xfce 4.12 Released

Is XFCE going down the bloat path? ... I'm not trolling here, this is an honest question. To me it looks like they're building a dekstop environment and slowing piling features on. My impression is, that we have enough of those with Gnome, KDE and Enlightenment 17 and perhaps a few others.

Or what is the upside of XFCE? Is it like a "light-weight" KDE or something? And what's with LXDE? Wasn't that the hippest kid on the WM/DE block these days?

BTW, what happened to E17? I remember Enlightenment being the darling-child of WMs in the Linux community. Is it nowadays to difficult to configure and/or install?

Comment: Don't own a car. Never have. Been riding bike sinc (Score 1) 301

by Qbertino (#49153135) Attached to: I ride a bike ...

I live in Germany and bike + public transport is my main means of transport. I've been riding bike since the age of 9 and have my bike optimized for everyday use. It's as expensive as it can be without getting stolen, has flat-proof tires (very important for hassle-free biking), a 100 Euro folding look, hydraulic brakes, mudgards and a special ..."luggage carrier" (wording?? ... GepÃcktrÃger in German) from the US with an expansible pouch that clips on. Use that and my Freitag backpack for grocery shopping.

Correlated: I'm one of rare in my peergroup that isn't overweight. And I regularly get judged around 35 although I'm 10 years older.

Comment: No problem, I have a solution to that. (Score 1) 152

by Qbertino (#49148423) Attached to: Invented-Here Syndrome

I'd say part of the cause of "invented-here syndrome" can be "not-good-enough syndrome." I'm often comparing my programming skills to people I see online - people whose skills far outpace my own. So when it comes time to access my programming skills, I'll understate how good I am because I'm simply not as good as those "coding superstars."

I have a solution to that exact problem. Just download any of the most popular web CMSes built in PHP. Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, or, if you think you're a tough one, Typo3 or Typo3 Neos. Install it (good luck with Neos, you'll need it) and load up the ERD with MySQL Workbench and stand amazed at the sight of the shittiest class of software architecture ever concieved by lifeforms able to type on a keyboard.

Seriously, if anything showed me that I must be in the upper single digit percentile of software devs, it's looking at systems that have an install base of 0.5 million or more. In the case of Typo3 Neos and TypoScript it might cause your head to explode. You have been warned.

Some of these systems are 10 years in making and emphasise that there are many people around that have no business programming what-so-ever. Right now I'm trying to do something useful with Wordpress taxonomies and categories - it's beyond insane what these people have built, I guarantee you. I actually just now had to take a coffee break of 1.5 hours just to let my frustration ease off. ... I spent that time designing a CMS architecture, if only not to forget how it's actually done right.

Looking at those systems will restore your self-confidence, that's guaranteed. Although it will also seriously make you doubt humanity in general. It's a tough tradeoff, I admit. But a change in perspective.

Comment: Wrong approach. Estimates aren't a problem. (Score 1) 347

by Qbertino (#49146317) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

Getting rid of estimates is the wrong approach - of course. What companies need is a clear product, pipeline and system strategy. Have that, and estimates are trivial.

If I know I have a set of servers and they all run system X and toolkit Y and management process Z and I'm hired to handle XYZ and we/I have optimised my skills and toolset for said chain because we've chose it as our strategy, I can give estimates that are precise to a margin of half an hour per week of project time on the drop of a hat.

However, give me deciders and/or co-workers who don't have a clue and make decisions way out of their league that I have to follow on, shitty testing and deployment, 10$/hour students making core system decisions, local servers I have to salvate from a junkpile and decisions on what system we're going to use in the next project based on what software the custmers drinking buddy had heard of and was rambling about after 7 beers half a year ago on their last pub tour and my estimates will be just as shitty as your decisions.

Leave me out of the loop until the very last moment and then barge into the door with some system I've only looked into for 15 minutes in the last 10 years and my estimates will be based on how true the vendors describe their product in the flyer. And we all know how true that is.

Comment: I'll believe it when I see it. (Score 1) 166

by Qbertino (#49145815) Attached to: Microsoft's Goals For Their New Web Rendering Engine

We have seen some suprises leaning towards the positive side from MS lately, no doubt. I'll admit that. However, MS has screwed up so much, so often, for so long that I'm weary of taking their word for it when it comes to enabling a more hassle free web.

If MS offers a relyably usable web frontend I at least will stop recommending *against* MS with my customers. In my opinion it would be smart for them to focus on openess and professional services with native software as a fallback for the heavy lifting. Their Azure thing seems to play in that direction. I'm wondering if MS can pull it all together with their new management. We'll see.

Until then, they can talk all they want. It will take some time before I see MS as a relyable player in my field again.

Comment: I've got less work to do. But I'm more important. (Score 1) 255

by Qbertino (#49136501) Attached to: 5 White Collar Jobs Robots Already Have Taken

What I'm observing right now is that I, as a computer expert, have less work to do because most of the programming for what I did the last 15 years is done already and available for free. Example from a related field: Good fonts would cost a few hundred bucks 10 years ago. Now they are available for free with MS, Google and Co. constantly shelling out new ones. We all know what usefull server setups or IDEs used to cost and how easyly they are available for free, in abundance.

Curiously enough, I do get the impression that, although there is less work to do at times, I'm actually more important as an expert, because people don't know where to look when that one little thing needs fixing.

I expect that to be even more so in the future for jobs that will remain in our field. Guess you call that true expert jobs.

Comment: He actually could be right. No joke. (Score 4, Interesting) 319

by Qbertino (#49127347) Attached to: Use Astrology To Save Britain's Health System, Says MP


I did consult a homeopath in the 90ies and early 2000nds, mostly because my mother was all super-pushy about it and I wanted her to quit pestering me. He would question me on the phone for 40 to 60 minutes. His anamnesis was the best I ever had. I don't recall if I even opened the package that came a week or so later containing the "LM Potence" of some obscure Homeopathic substance, i.e. a water and alcohol mixture in a small important looking flask. But I do remember being way calmer and way more educated on my condition. I thought I had heart problems and he pin-pointed reflux after the extensive questionaire and talk on the phone.
I've never spoken to an doctor for that long and I'd be suprised if any doctor had time or could afford such a thing. I would like to have such a medical expert to talk to that does not push obscure 'treatment' on me, that would be optimal.

I treated my reflux with healing-earth, baking soda, meditation/relaxation excercise and a change in diet and told my MD who wanted to sell me a "heart and lung condition" diagnosed in the record time of 2.5 minutes to fuck off. Never had problems since.

The point is: Good Homeopaths are actually quite well medically educated and can be terrific "anameticists" (wording?), because their main job actually is to talk to the patient, find out what's bugging him and - ideally - do a solid diagnose. That they only prescribe sugar-pills is a minor nuiscance from that perspective.

If astrology would lead to a new occupation in which the main purpose is talking to the patient and find out what exactly the condition is, it could be a good thing. Wether the professional in question would be a homeopath, an astrologer, magician or whatnot wouldn't really matter. Only treatment then, of course, would need to be decided upon by a different party.

Modern medicine need a profession specifically for anamnesis. Until that happens, homeopaths and perhaps even astrologers will fill that gap. Poorly at time perhaps, but they'll fill it.

Comment: Said this 14 years ago. We need to replace E-Mail. (Score 4, Insightful) 307

by Qbertino (#49125903) Attached to: Moxie Marlinspike: GPG Has Run Its Course

I was saying all this 14 years ago.
FOSS Encryption is a mess. It is basically impossible for a regular user to set up encrypted mail.
I'm an expert, and I never even managed too. (The K-Mail crew basically lying about their GPG-features didn't help back then)

Furthermore, the actual, underlying problem is E-Mail.

That this piece of crap protocol/service could survive for so long totally amazes me. I remember using Fidonet and Crosspoint, back in the 90ies (which actually is a superiour solution to E-Mail) and then learning about E-Mail and thinking "Why is everybody using this and thinking it's great?".

The fact that E-Mail is so shitty is the sole reason Facebook has north of a billion users - for the simple reason that Facebook actually is a *better* user experience than E-Mail. Think about that for a moment.

Bottom line:
E-Mail needs a complete redo/replacement with hard asymetric encryption and zero-fuss key handling and exchange built in as a core specification. Top-notch FOSS clients for all major platforms included. That this whole field is in such a sad and sorry state is to the largest part the fault of us, the FOSS community.

Comment: Anecdotes from Germany ... (Score 2) 290

by Qbertino (#49110849) Attached to: How Walking With Smartphones May Have Changed Pedestrian Etiquette

Germans are sort of polite, but they have some anoyingly stupid habits that I've only seen here:

1.) When a train stops, those wanting to get on will group around the doors and give those wanting to get of a hard time in doing so. It's a site like from a Monty Python sketch. Like sheep you often have to shove them aside. I've resolved to boldly stepping straight out and onto the feet of anybody standing smack in the middle of the way and making loud suggestions on how to organise things so the people getting off can do so quickly for the benefit of all.

2.) Blocking the left side of escalators. Really annoying! I recently was to belgium and was astonished how orderly people standing on an escalator would move to the right side, so that people could walk on the left side. I was so astonished I pulled out my camera and took a series of pictures of this "phenomenon". ... Not so in Germany. Regularly people will stop and stand wherever they like to, no matter if they're blocking the way or not. I've resolved to the habit of just about stepping on peoples heels and breathing into their ear if they're unneccessarily blocking the way. Stupid remarks are riposted with witty "... or you could just stand on the right side just like everybody else in every other country on the planet." ... Usually shuts them up. I've actually seen people embarassed because of this. Good.

3.) As for people mindlessly tumbling about with their smartphones and earplugs: That annoys me greatly, especially in public spaces that are crowded and where you have to expect frequent social interaction, like on a crowded trainstation during rush-hour. ... Take out your f*cking earplugs and put them in when you've found your place on the train, for goodness sake! Nowadays, whenever I try to address someone and he doesn't listen because of earplugs and/or audio cranked up to max, I usually just push or pull them aside gently. Some are so zoned out they're actually OK with that. ... Guess electronic escapisim is shaping our social interaction in that way too.

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